28 April 2014

Lime-Tamari Noodles with Asparagus + Inner Wisdom


I make a few versions of Asian noodle salads, and this is my Spring version with asparagus and radishes. It's a nice transition piece to Spring cooking because the asparagus are blanched while the other vegetables are left crisp and fresh. There's a combination of warm and cold, cooked and raw elements which feels right to me for the Spring weather here. For a meal, I paired the noodles with these amazing sweet potato carrot cakes I had leftover in the freezer.  

When I started this blog 2 years ago, I wanted to ensure I was making the most of seasonal ingredients that you all as my readers were seeing at the markets. So it forced me to become more aware of seasonal variation in cooking and eating styles. And now I'm learning even more in my coursework about the importance of eating in alignment with the seasons.


You know how we naturally crave cold drinks or ice cream in the summer and warming, heavier stews or pasta in the winter? This is our body acting in alignment with nature's rhythms without our mind taking over. Our ancestors did this well. We in modern society with modern conveniences do not do it so well. The same foods are often available all year around and we are bombarded with so much media and diet news to eat this and not that, that we overthink things. Our mind now overpowers our whole being and we've lost touch with nature and with our inner voice and wisdom.

But we can do something about that! If we take the time to tune into and trust what our body is telling us, we can become our own detectives and make that connection between the foods we eat and how we feel. Perhaps digestion issues or food sensitivities would clear up as a result?


I want to take it a step further and mention that eating seasonally also relates to eating what grows nearby, when available. The produce that thrives in the environment in which we live is bound to also support our body in the way it needs to thrive in the same environment. Our body will know what to do with this food to optimize energy.

In the end, it's not about perfecting seasonal, local eating. It's never about perfection. At best it's about tuning into our intuition and rebuilding the relationship and trust with our bodies and inner voice. So I challenge you to truly listen to and trust what your body is telling you this week, and see what happens!



Lime-Tamari Noodles with Asparagus
Serves 6

Notes: I use brown rice noodles here but soba/black rice/regular rice noodles or whole wheat spaghetti would also be nice options. This makes a lot. If you know you'll have leftovers the next day, consider mixing only half of the veg and noodles with the dressing and storing leftover dressing in a jar in the fridge to toss with the other half the next day.

12 oz. brown rice noodles (~340 grams)
1 bunch asparagus
1 small Chinese cabbage (or Napa cabbage)
4-5 radishes
1 spring onion
1 red chili
Fresh cilantro
Fresh mint
Lime-Tamari Dressing (recipe below)
Toasted cashews (not pictured)

Remove and discard woody ends of asparagus. Slice asparagus on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces. 

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop pasta and cook 1 minute shy of package directions. Add asparagus the last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time. Drain and rinse under cold water. 

In the meantime, halve and slice cabbage, slice radishes, thinly slice spring onions and chili on a diagonal, and chop cilantro and mint. Add vegetables and pasta to a large serving bowl (you may not want to use all the cabbage, depending on how much there is). Pour over half dressing and toss with tongs. Serve remaining dressing at table. Top with cashews.

Lime-Tamari Dressing
3 Tbsp. tamari (or soy sauce)
2 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 tsp. orange marmalade (or honey)
Small knob ginger, grated or minced
1 clove garlic, minced

Add all ingredients to a small jar, cover with lid, and shake until well mixed. Taste and adjust acidity and sweetness to your liking. Alternatively, whisk ingredients together in a small bowl.

15 comments:

  1. This looks like the perfect noodle salad! I love radishes and tamari anything so I can just imagine how good this tastes :)

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    1. It is a pretty good noodle salad, in my book. ;-) It comes together so quickly and is super adaptable to whatever produce is the freshest where you are!

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  2. After reading Michael Pollen's 'In Defence of Food' I became super aware of eating according to the season. I think there is something soul nourishing about eating in tune with the seasons, and I know my body is craving warm veggie soups and roasted roots in winter and then lighten with the seasons as the little greens start poking their heads out in summer. I have filed this away for when spring again reaches our shores here in Australia :)

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    1. Hi Amy - I loved In Defence of Food. You're so right, it is very nourishing for our bodies to give them what they instinctively are ask for. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Katie, I love the sweet depth in this dish..,with some heat too!your words resonate with me a fair bit, ignoring the body is only forgiven by the body in the short term x

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    1. That's very true, Deena. Our body is resilient so it will bounce back in the short term, but we cannot ignore long-term effects our choices today will have. And yes, there is some kick in the dish - and sometimes we add more chili, esp minced up in the dressing is nice. Thanks for your comment!

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  4. Listening to my body is something I always have to consciously work on but it's really worth the effort because when my body feels good my mind and soul reap the benefits. This is a beautiful spring dish full of all my favorite flavors!

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    1. Thank you Grace! I agree, the body, mind, and soul are certainly connected so being kind to our body benefits much more than just our body. Thanks for your comment.

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  5. This dish looks amazing, I love spring and autumn dishes that mix a variety of fresh and cooked/warm vegetables. And I definitely agree with your message that we should be listening to our bodies and eating with the seasons rather than buying into the media hype and latest dieting crazes. Great post (and I'm pinning this for next spring in Australia ;)

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    1. Hi there! Thank you Dearna. And yes, even healthy eating is trendy these days but it's still missing the point of truly listening to ourselves rather than what we're told is best, isn't it?!

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  6. This looks absolutely delicious!

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    1. It is delicious! I tend to overdress it because I love the flavors in the dressing. ;-) Thanks for stopping by, Chelsea!

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  7. I made this today for a big lunch party and it was a hit! Thanks for suggesting this salad (LOVED the dressing!!). I made it with soba noodles which gave it a nice nutty undertone. Perfect for the hot summer in Japan. Here's my photo again if you'd like to see it: http://cooksnaps.com/en/cooksnaps/whole-nourishment-lime-tamari-noodles-with-asparagus-inner-wisdom)

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    1. Awesome, so glad it was a hit! Thank you for the feedback Felice and for the pictures. Love seeing how it turned out in . The soba noodles and cashews both sound like great additions!

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    2. The cashews were delicious! You suggested them in the ingredients so I thought I'd try :) Glad you like the pictures! I'll have to try this with rice noodles next time too.

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